Programmable DNA Scissors Shown to Work on Human Cells

January 11, 2013

A programmable technique developed to precisely target and cut DNA in bacteria has been found to work on human cells as well – a finding that has the potential to revolutionize gene therapy. Jennifer Doudna of the Physical Biosciences Division and Martin Jinek, a visiting scientist at the Advanced Light Source, led a new study in which it was shown that their bacterial DNA scissors system, which is based on Cas9 endonucleases, can also be applied to human DNA. This could make routine what are now expensive, complicated and rare procedures for replacing defective genes. The study was published in the new open access journal eLife and can be downloaded here. More>

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